United close in on Owen
Former England striker Michael Owen has arrived at Manchester United's training ground as his move to the Premier League champions moves closer. The 29-year-old arrived at Carrington on Friday morning, having already undergone an assessment of his troublesome knee on Thursday. Owen is expected to have further tests at a Manchester hospital later and if United's medical staff give him the all-clear, he could join former club Liverpool's arch-rivals as soon as next week. Owen's Newcastle contract lapsed on July 1 but although the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker apparently remained eager to stay in the Barclays Premier League, it appeared only the likes of Stoke and Hull were ready to make a concrete offer. They were joined by reigning champions United, who have lost star man Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina striker Carlos Tevez since the end of last season. Owen suffered from a series of injury problems during his stint at St James' Park and Sir Alex Ferguson was thought to be lining up a pay-as-you-play deal for the forward. The 29-year-old was believed to be on around £110,000 at Newcastle, for whom he scored 10 goals as they were relegated to the Coca-Cola Championship last season, but would be happy to take a reduced basic salary for a top-four club. Owen has failed to persuade England coach Fabio Capello that he has both the form and fitness to add to his 89 international caps but would relish the chance to forge a partnership with the Italian's first-choice striker, Wayne Rooney, at Old Trafford. United have yet to officially comment on the deal.
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